Artist injured in bicycle crash talks about recovery, dangers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte driver is facing charges, and a Charlotte family is planning a funeral after a bicyclist on Parkwood Avenue.

A local artist who lost a leg after being hit by a car on the same road, told Channel 9 changes need to happen before anyone else gets hurt.

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Joe Borusso doesn't remember much about the evening in June when police said Evan Hager drove drunk and him on Parkwood Avenue.

For the past two and a half months, Borruso has been fighting to survive and recover from several life threatening injuries including a severed main artery in his hand and fractured disks in his neck.

"All of a sudden you're back to a toddler," he said. "If I can explain it to anyone.That's what it's like, being a baby."

Doctors also had to amputate Borruso's left leg.

Now, he's trying to learn to walk on a prosthetic.

"It's like having stilts," Borruso said.

Channel 9 checked with Charlotte Department of Transportation. They said from Allen Street to The Plaza, there have been 195 crashes on Parkwood Avenue since 2010.

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Those include seven pedestrian crashes, one of them fatal; 79 injury crashes; 116 with property damage and two bicycle crashes.

The latest crash happened Sunday night when police said Nathaniel Lancaster caused the accident that killed a man riding his bicycle.

Borusso said drivers need to pay attention.

"If you were driving 10 and 2 the whole time, you would see that person," he said.

But he believes dropping the speed limit could make big difference, too.

"Its 35 now if it was 25 mph, most definitely. If you're riding down that road, even 25 mph on a bike seems fast" Borruso said.

Channel 9 asked CDOT if any safety improvements are planned and is still waiting for a response.

Several businesses are holding fundraisers to help Borruso with medical bills including Duckworths, Luna's Living Kitchen, Central Coffee and Pizza Peel.

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